Eleven years on: Mugabe abduction victim demands compensation

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

ELEVEN years since she was seized from her home by some State security agents at the height of former President Robert Mugabe’s brutal repression on the opposition, Banket based MDC activist Violet Mupfuranhewe still wants justice.

Mupfutanhewe was kept away from her home without charge and against her will for two months before she was released.

She says the trauma of what she went through haunts her over a decade later.

The activist now wants compensation from government for wrongful arrest, trauma and loss of property as well as the anguish that her then five year-old son had to go through after spending two weeks alone at their home.

“The physical and emotional abuse was beyond measure and to date I am scared to tell people some of the things that happened because they will start pointing fingers at me,” Mupfuranhewe told

“We may have received counselling from a non-governmental organisation but coming back home to find your home stripped of its roof is not easy. The trauma will always be with you, after compensation, then counselling may have an effect.

“I hear there are fresh abductions now and I am scared it could happen all over again.”

The MDC activist said she was a guest at various Harare police stations before being transferred to an unknown base manned by ruling party activists.

“It was on the 23rd October 2008 around 3am when I was abducted by people who claimed to have been from Chinhoyi Criminal Investigation Department (CID). They were visibly drunk. I was blindfolded and driven to Harare before I was dumped at Mabelreign Police Station with instructions to police officers there not to interview or record my arrest,” she said tearfully.

“The following day I was picked up and dropped off at Marlborough Police Station. I stayed there for four days before I was taken to Highlands Police Station. On the fifth day I was taken to Avondale Police Station.”

She added: “Then someone calling himself Magwenzi from (police) Law and Order took me and others to a spot in Mt Hampden blindfolded before handing us over to a group we still don’t have an idea who they were.

“For two months I stayed at an unknown place and then sometime in December, I was picked up and dumped along Harare-Chinhoyi highway.”

Mupfuranhewe said the two months were the longest in her life.

“Imagine all these months I was with my toddler. I did not have essentials to take care of the child or myself. I watched them put my child in a freezer. I was tortured all the while, denied food and all other things including bath water.

“Up to today my child doesn’t want to see a deep freezer. Some of the first words he learnt were swear words used by our captors,” she said.

The boy is now at Banket Catholic Primary school and is popular for a poem he penned titled: ‘The Day I Will Never Forget’ in which he chronicles he and his mother’s ordeal vividly.

When she was finally released, Mupfuranhewe says she found her home in ruins, property stolen. She has never recovered and now lives in penury and fear.